By Josh Healey
Over 300 Jews, joined by a few non-Jews, marked the first night of Hanukkah, the holiday of liberation, by taking over the streets of downtown San Francisco, marching, praying, laughing, and shouting for justice to ensure that Black Lives Matter
It was pouring rain when marcher started at the Yerba Buena Gardens, singing the new freedom song: “I can hear my neighbor crying ‘ can’t breathe’ / Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave…”
They sang the Hebrew peace song Lo Yisa Goy. And then, when it was time to march, the sky cleared and the rain stopped.
They marched over to Powell and Market, a 10-year- old girl leading the chant: “From Ferguson to ‘Frisco: Black Lives Matter!” Her name was Alana, and she was there with her grandmother.
In the middle of Market Street, a group of rabbis led the crowd in the Mourner’s Kaddish for all the Black and Brown men and women killed by police and vigilantes. They took turns reading the names, and everyone repeated them back.
They recited the Kaddish. They said a prayer for those whose lives have been stolen by racist violence. “Yitgadal v’yitkadash…”
And the rabbi closed by saying, “This is only the beginning.”
The march in San Francisco was one of 10 similar actions.